Intro to Philippine Culture

Our Peace Corps Batch 273 currently consists of 80 volunteers and we are all living at a training base together for these first two weeks. Below are photos from our cultural day, complete with a performance by a Dance Troupe, demonstrating various traditional festival dances. These performers were incredibly impressive and even managed to balance a glass cup of liquid on their foreheads for the entirety of one dance. I got an opportunity to try a few simple steps after the show. Cultural day also included opportunities to try some of the more exotic Filipino foods including chicken feet (grilled and served on a skewer) and balut (fertilized chicken eggs which depending on the stage of development may even include feathers and a beak). While balut has recently received greater attention due to the show Survivor and/or Fear Factor, this food is commonly fed to children as parents encourage them to grow strong. Balut is a good source of protein, but luckily mine did not contain feathers or a beak. Finally, we learned a version of the game tag traditional to Filipino childhood and some common superstitions including the idea that if you are ever lost, you must turn your clothes inside out to find your way (Filipinos and Americans share similar superstitions about opening umbrellas indoors).

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